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Retiring Earnhardt feels less pressure

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Dale Earnhardt Jr. says the pressure is gone, not only about his future, but also his results.

"I certainly did feel a lot more relaxed now," NASCAR'S most popular driver said Friday at Richmond International Raceway, where he came back to work three days after announcing that this season will be his last. "I don't know whether it's because I finally got to tell everybody and let everybody know what we're doing, get that over with, but I certainly felt real relaxed today in the garage during practice. Read More...

Kenseth wins Richmond pole, Junior 12th

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Matt Kenseth won the pole position for Sunday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

The 2003 series champion needed only four laps in three rounds of qualifying Friday, outrunning final-round qualifiers like Joey Logano, who was fastest in each of the first two rounds, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who made it to the final round, but will start 12th. Read More...

France: NASCAR not only sport struggling

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France says the challenge of connecting with a new, younger generation of fans is something that all sports are trying to figure out, and one that NASCAR will take some time to figure out.

Speaking at Richmond International Raceway before Sunday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, France compared the challenge sports are facing to the one retailers are facing because of the popularity of online shopping. Read More...

NASCAR in good position with young stars

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) The exodus in recent years of some of NASCAR's most popular drivers and a continuing decline in attendance and television viewership have cast a shadow over the series. It has also put a spotlight on the young guns needed to fill the celebrity void.

So far, at least on the track, so good. Read More...

NASCAR stars no longer driving into 50s

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Just a generation ago, NASCAR drivers raced until they were embarrassing themselves, the money ran out or they simply couldn't make it to the track anymore. They could compete into their mid-50s, and make a really good living.

It's an entirely different world now. Read More...

Drivers to likely covet Earnhardt's seat

Junior's job is up for grabs.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s surprise decision to retire from the NASCAR Cup series at the end of the season will surely make his No. 88 Chevrolet the hottest ride in racing. But more than talent is needed to take the wheel for team owner Rick Hendrick. Read More...

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